Check out our May dining guide for the latest restaurant openings in the 852. Don’t worry, you can always work off the calories later.
Words Iris Wong
Alzina Spanish Asador
When: May 12 to 18
29-31 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui (entrance at Hart Avenue)
Tel: 2723 9833
One of Spain’s most acclaimed cortadores, José Manuel Hidalgo, is in town from May 12 to 18 for an exclusive showcase of Ibérico ham slicing at Alzina Spanish Asador. The 2014 World Champion will be demonstrating his cutting and serving skills, while guests can enjoy the prized Garimori Ibérico hand-sliced by the master himself. A special menu featuring products from local gourmet food supplier Silco is also available during the promotional period, with highlights such as cold tomato soup with Ibérico Garimori ($54), Spanish white prawn fritter ($95) and Galician-style octopus leg confit ($149).
Banh Mi Kitchen
Shop 5, Li Yuen East Street, Central
Tel: 2328 9699
We are always looking out for new lunch spots, and here’s another one to add to the list. Banh Mi Kitchen has just opened on Li Yuen East Street, serving banh mi, or Vietnamese sub, the fresh and authentic way. Bread dough is delivered daily from RISE Boulangerie, and are then baked in-house at BMK to achieve a thin crispy crust while the inside remains light and airy. We can’t wait to try the Cold Cut Classic ($48) with three types of cold cuts, pate and mayo, as well as the low-calorie Lemongrass Chic ($47) with US chicken thigh marinated overnight in lemongrass and citrus. Carb lover AND a coffee addict? Make it a meal by adding $12 for a Vietnamese coffee (hot or cold) or $5 for a Vietnamese tea (hot or cold).
2-4 Kau U Fong, Central
Thanks to the Vietnam episode of Anthony Bourdain’s TV show, No Reservations, “Lunch Lady” Nguyen Thi Thành’s food stall has become something of a Saigon icon. Good news for Hong Kong: Brian Woo of Three Monkeys, will be opening Cô Thành in PoHo this May. Dishes to look out for include bun bo hue (spicy beef satay noodle soup), bun mam (Vietnamese seafood gumbo with three kinds of preserved fish and shrimp paste), and banh canh cua (tapioca noodles in a thick broth of crab, pork and mushrooms).
UG/F Ming Hing House, 52-56 Staunton Street, Central
Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017 May Chow has opened her third outlet: psychedelic, neon-splashed Happy Paradise. Chow and executive chef John Javier have come up with a 20-dish neo-Cantonese menu, including slow-cooked, super-silky yellow wine chicken, classic braised pomelo pith in Shaoxing chicken stock, and char siu silky egg rice. Quirky, artisanal cocktails, concocted by mixologist Chanel Adams, are equally impressive. Try the Drunken Plums, reminiscent of Shanghainese drunken dishes, and if you’re feeling brave, the Durian Painkiller with durian-infused dark rum and durian cream.
Lilya Moroccan Lounge & Bar
2/F 77 Wyndham Street, Central
Tel: 2526 2578
The latest addition to Wyndham Street’s bar scene, Lilya is where you can immerse yourself in Moroccan exotic sensuality with its flamboyant decor of traditional Babouche slippers, cozy couches and poufs, lavish cocktails, authentic homemade dishes and Arabic beats. Cocktails concocted by award-winning mixologist Younes Ateyah with signature Moroccan ingredients are must-haves, such as the Oriental Fashion ($120) crafted with 27 different spices from Morocco, and Majorelle ($115), a sweet libation dedicated to Yve Saint Laurent who saved the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh from becoming a hotel complex. Of course, great drinks are best accompanied by delicious food. Not to be missed on head chef Ahmed Boulalam’s menu include the Fisherman’s Pastilla ($198) with lobster and pink royal pageot, as well as the classic saddle of lamb ($168).
Michelin Dining Series: Norbert Niederkofler
When: May 11 to 13
Where: Aurora, Altira, Avenida de Kwong Tung, Taipa, Macau
The Michelin guide dining series international chef showcase continues with Norbert Niederkofler of two-Michelin-starred St. Hubertus at Rosa Alpina Hotel, Italy. Known for his locavore cooking philosophy and use of fresh alpine ingredients from the Dolomites mountain range, chef Niederkofler will be serving a seven-course dinner and four-course lunch paired with fine wines curated by Robert Parker Wine Advocate. Highlights include the orzotto with goat’s milk butter and lemon verbena, Ceres’ suckling pig and tarte tatin. Lunch is priced at MOP800pp, and dinner at MOP2,000pp. Grab your tickets here.
47B Elgin Street, Central
Tel: 2526 2227
One of many restaurant relaunches in Hong Kong this month, Soho Spice gets a bold new look by Australia-based designer Anita Lopez along with a new menu by the award-winning chef Peter Cuong Franklin to boost. Hop in for Southeast Asian street food-inspired dishes prepared by head chef Mo Rahin, such as pork belly bao sliders, chicken satay skewers and the wagyu massaman beef curry. Then round off the meal with a Nutella roti, mango sticky rice, or a refreshing cocktail or two.
Takumi by Daisuke Mori
Shop 1, The Oakhill, 16 Wood Road, Wan Chai
Tel: 2574 1299
One-Michelin-starred Wagyu Takumi has recently undergone a makeover and reopened under the collaborative direction of executive chef Daisuke Mori and Lai Sun Dining with a new name, improved interior and polished menu. Come to Takumi by Daisuke Mori for refined French-Japanese fare prepared by chef Mori, who has honed his craft in the demanding kitchens of world-renowned establishments such as Paris’ Taillevent and Joël Robuchon’s “Château” restaurant in Tokyo. Not to be missed is the wagyu beef tenderloin – rich and tender with dense marbling and cooked over binchotan coals before sealing in the juices on a hot grill.
Lunch is priced at $780 for four courses and $980 for six courses, while the eight-course dinner tasting menu is $2,080pp. Wine pairings are available for both lunch and dinner with additional costs. Expect dishes such as the “Kegani” hairy crab roll with lily root, “Akahata” pan-fried grouper with Japanese fruits tomato coulis, French chicken leg, and of course, the charcoal-grilled Japanese wagyu beef.
Test Kitchen x Peter Cuong Franklin Pop-up
When: May 18 to 21
Where: Test Kitchen, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun
Chef Peter Cuong Franklin’s ANAN Saigon just opened in Ho Chi Minh City, following the relaunch of Soho Spice back in Hong Kong where Franklin is the consulting chef. From May 18 to 21, the prolific chef is joining forces with Test Kitchen in bringing a dinner pop-up packed with Vietnamese street food-inspired delights prepared with classical French techniques. We’re salivating thinking about the foie gras imperial roll (pork, black truffle duxelles, sweet chilli lime sauce), Da Lat-style pizza (charred flowers, silken tofu, spiced pumpkin seeds), and the banh flam trai dira (flan in young coconut, sesame, peanuts, mint) on the eight-course menu with wine pairing ($980pp). Purchase your tickets here.
1/F 38 Peel Street, Central
Tel: 2889 7576
Hong Kong’s latest Brazilian-Japanese restaurant, Uma Nota is a modern boteco-inspired venue serving Nipo-Brasileiro street food and cocktails. Combining Brazilian ingredients and Japanese techniques, chef Dagoberto Torres (formerly of Alex Atala’s D.O.M) has crafted a menu reflecting São Paulo’s street food culture. Signatures include red snapper, prawn and calamari ceviche with aji amarillo and coriander ($150), and coxinha, a deep-fried Brazilian dumpling with chicken and okra in a homemade chilli sauce ($65). Try it with a traditional caipirinha ($90), a sweet and tart cocktail of cachaça, lime and cane sugar, or a menina geisha ($100), a smooth blend of sake, gin, coriander and kaffir lime syrup.